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Using galleries to lobby for direct sales

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by TexasEV, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    I think Tesla should use its galleries in Texas, Arizona, and soon New Jersey to educate shoppers about why they can't sell cars, to encourage popular support to get the state laws changed. Instead of the product specialists just telling people they're not allowed to give the price, that could be an opportunity to gain support for getting the law changed. From Elon's blog post about New Jersey, it's obvious Tesla has passed the point of trying not to offend anyone, and now it's time to embarrass the politicians into changing the law.

    So here is an idea for a sign they should put in the Texas galleries:

    Texas state law prohibits us from telling you the price of our cars or doing anything related to “selling”. The law does not allow companies which make cars to sell them in Texas! However the law didn’t anticipate the Internet or this thing called Google, which allows you to find the Tesla Motors web site and the order page where our cars are sold online like any other 21[SUP]st[/SUP] century consumer product.

    If you think this law is as stupid as we think it is, please tell your state senator and representative that you support free enterprise and consumer choice in where and how you buy your car. Let car manufacturers like Tesla sell directly to consumers.
     
  2. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I'd rather the stores/galleries stay issue-free, if possible, and just focus on showing the cars. No one should feel 'on the spot' walking in to see a car.

    If my news feed over the last few days is any indication, the dealership lobby will regret taking on Tesla. It appears more than a few news outlets are picking up this story and will highlight the issues to a national audience (vs. just those who walk in the gallery). I predict that both Gov Christie and the dealership lobby will someday look back and see the NJ shenanigans as a big mistake.
     
  3. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I totally agree.

    They already have a sign like this in Texas although it says it differently.
     
  4. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    I've been in the Austin gallery many times and I've never seen it. When I answer questions the staff aren't allowed to answer (and helped with a few sales, as you did when you lived here) most people seem confused when the product specialists say they're not allowed to talk about the price.
     
  5. Chris Naps

    Chris Naps Member

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    #5 Chris Naps, Mar 15, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
    Customers might be prohibited from purchasing these cars in the indicated states, but it is similar to gun laws. If you pass the ID check (if there is one required), and you have the credit (money), then you get your gun. Even if you are an out of the state resident. Registering it in-state is the troubling part.

    Being a resident of NJ, I can go to the Tesla gallery right now and see the car, talk about the car to the employee's, but test driving it is a trouble and purchasing it is even more troublesome. Example: I flew out west and decided to call up Tesla and see if I can test drive a vehicle. They said no problem - no more questions needed and I test drove it at the designated time without any problems. If you go to NJ - it is much different. They are only allowing people who are actually 'willing purchasers' to test drive the vehicle. But, I can test drive it in NJ, and head over to NY or PA and place my purchase (for now), but I have to pay state tax for the state I purchased the vehicle in. The thing is having it delivered to my located. I am not allowed to drive it from NY or PA because it is not a licensed, insured, or titled vehicle in NJ. Once it is delivered in NJ, I would have to apply for a new title and it will have to go through an inspection process by the NJ DMV. Another thing is, I am not sure that NJ will allow for resident who purchase vehicles out of state to qualify for the EV credit (no state tax).

    It is just a mess and becomes very annoying.
     
  6. MikeL

    MikeL some guy

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    image.jpg Here's a "nice" early version of such a welcome sign from VA
     
  7. skdave

    skdave Member

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    I would add a rental desk in the gallery. Tesla could rent a Model S instead of offering test drives.

    I would also cut a deal with key Taxi Companies for the exposure. I would P.R. TV ads telling the truth why Tesla is not allowed to sell on these pin head states.
     
  8. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I would put a pleasant customer experience at the top of my list and keep politics out of the galleries. Plenty of other avenues for all the politics. (I like the rental desk idea, but am sure there are a ton of regulations that go along with that one.)
     
  9. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    That's what I remember them having in Texas but they must have taken it down. They were still saying 'due to Texas law I'm not allowed to mention the price' when people would ask that question a few months ago.
     
  10. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    #10 ToddRLockwood, Mar 15, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
    Chris, if I'm not mistaken, New Jersey residents can order a car from Tesla's web site. For all intents and purposes it is a California sale. Tesla puts a temporary CA tag on the car and it gets delivered to the purchaser's home in NJ by a third-party trucking company (typically UPS). Then the NJ buyer applies for a title and registration and pays the appropriate sales tax to NJ.

    It would be the same thing as buying a new BMW from a dealer in California, since they had the exact car you wanted. The dealer puts a temporary tag on the car, but no CA sales tax is charged. Then the car gets shipped to you. The same thing happens for Tesla customers in states that do not yet have a Tesla store, such as Vermont and New Hampshire.
     
  11. rlang59

    rlang59 Member

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    Have you never bought a car out of state before? If you buy a car in PA, NY or DE by a licensed dealer in PA, NY or DE they still handle the registration and title of the car. Also there is no inspection for EVs in NJ so you don't have to worry about that. The state of purchase has nothing to do with the no sales tax issue it is where you register the car. For all intents and purposes I bought my Tesla out of state, I picked mine up in Norristown PA since it is the closest service center to me, I handed them the check in Norristown so I bought it in PA. They took care of the title and registration, and in fact that was handled by a person in California, I don't expect that to be any different now.

    - - - Updated - - -

    They don't deliver at home unless you are too far from a service center. For me it was a PA temp tag since that is where I took delivery. See above for how the rest is handled.
     
  12. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    They are turning NJ into the same sales Model that Texas has it seems. It isn't great but sales can still happen over the website as said above.
     
  13. AoneOne

    AoneOne Member

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    Even in PA, Tesla followed the same procedure, providing a temporary CA registration allowing me to drive it while getting it inspected and registered.
     
  14. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    That's also the way it works in Texas where we have the same prohibition on sales that NJ will soon have, except that delivery is to the service center if the purchaser lives near one. A week or so before the car ships Tesla will send the paperwork and detailed instructions so they can do the temp CA registration for you and the docs you need to get the permanent registration in Texas where the tax is paid.

    No taxes are due in the state the car is purchased in, same as you don't pay sales tax on anything else you buy out of state and have it shipped to you when the seller doesn't have a store in your state. You're supposed to pay a "use tax" to your state on those out of state purchases. Can't avoid doing it on the car because you pay it when you register it.
     
  15. Mario Kadastik

    Mario Kadastik Active Member

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    How about local Tesla aficionados volunteer half a day a week that they spend in the Tesla store. Tesla provides tea, coffe and snacks for them during that time (just common curtesy) and the non-worker can talk all about the pricing and all the other stuff that the sales people aren't allowed to talk. As it wouldn't be an official Tesla recommended procedure, just someone hanging around the store and educating the customers then the state cannot ban it ;)

    If there are enough people participating it would only be a few hours a month per person and nothing big really happens if one cannot show up. This way the idiotic legal system is circumvented and Tesla gets still all the sales ;) Another level entirely would be that if Tesla cannot offer a test drive, then an owner would, but that's got more liability issues etc and doubt many would want to do that.
     
  16. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

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    I can relate my experience buying in va. Car delivered with California temp sticker. I did not pay California sales tax. I did pay va sales tax with registration of car in va. In fact tesla prepared every document. I just had to sign. Are you claiming that cars with temporary California registrations are unable to operate in New Jersey, that is clearly wrong
     
  17. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    Probably lots of legal pitfalls but I think it's a great idea. At the end of last year I spent half a day at the Kenwood (Cincinnati) store with other owners. I gave a test drive in my car and though not 100% responsible, I believe I (we) sold one! It was really fun to pay it forward. DSM363 let me drive his car about a little over a year ago and I'm forever grateful.
     
  18. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    It was great meeting you and happy to do it.

    I agree with you. Tesla can't lift a finger to organize anything like this. Has to be just 'random' owners showing up and hanging out for a bit.
     

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